Despite limited agriculture, traditional Qatari food can be surprisingly varied. While locally caught fish are always in plentiful supply, many staples have to be imported. Over the years, local dishes have been influenced by the cuisine of the Indian Subcontinent, Iran, the Levant and North Africa.
They include: machboos, a stew of richly spiced rice with seafood or meat, mutton served with yogurt; ghuzi, a whole roast lamb on a bed of rice and nuts; and stuffed boiled sheep or goat served with seasoned rice.
This centrepiece of the meal is generally accompanied by a variety of side dishes, including chicken, fish and vegetables and salad. Locally grown dates, fresh fruit and desserts such as halwa or Umm Ali round off a typical Qatari meal. Souq Waqif and Katara are both highly recommended places to visit for tourists looking to experience Qatari food and Arabic coffee.